Why didn't Titanic see Californian's Morse Lamps


Jim Currie

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If the keel broke open on the surface then whatever coal was in that compartment would surely spill out long before both sections separated on the surface and sank. Frank Osman saw lumps of coal shooting out of the funnels during the break up and I'm guessing there must have been an enormous release of coal somewhere in the vicinity of the break up.

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None of what you surmise is true. For the answer, I suggest you and others read "
Archaeology of Titanic by James P. Delgado Volume 65 Number 3, [bcolor=rgb(252, 252, 255)]May/June 201[/bcolor]. It can be found at Archaeology of Titanic - Archaeology Magazine Archive

In the following quote I show th relevant part in bold.

"The new map revealed to us that the scattered features and artifacts do not represent everything that once lay inside or on the ship. Rather than streaming like comet tails from the bow and stern as the ship sank, most contents of the artifact field come from the full disintegration of a section of the ship—some 70 feet of Titanic’s 882-foot length that branched up and out between two of the deck funnels. Broken pieces of the hull from that section were accompanied by two of the reciprocating engine cylinders, the five boilers from the number one boiler room, 51 tons of coal (of 1,000 or more tons on board), and four tons of coke. This segment also included the contents of the Verandah Café, the Palm Court, the aft end of the First Class Lounge, and a group of first-, second-, and third-class cabins, as well as the galleys and pantries, sculleries, wine room, barber shop, smoking room, hospital, cold storage rooms, silverware locker, and baker’s shop. Among these items on the seafloor are also pieces swept from the deck, such as the funnels, the davits used to launch lifeboats, and the remains of the bridge."
 
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Aaron_2016

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None of what you surmise is true.......Rather than streaming like comet tails from the bow and stern as the ship sank, most contents of the artifact field come from the full disintegration of a section of the ship.....
Being a bit presumptuous aren't we? They mapped the debris field and found a trail of coal almost a mile long south of the stern. The article just states that a large mid-section of the ship had disintegrated and most of the contents do not appear to have streamed out of each broken end like comets. I guessed that the debris had spilled out when the ship broke on the surface and the fragments were already on their way to the bottom while both sections were still on the surface before the bow and stern sank, and this delay would surely allow the broken contents to sink independently. I agree with the article because it said most of the contents do not appear to have streamed out of each end like comet trails as they descended to the sea floor, and therefore supports the theory that the coal fell out of the broken ship while she was on the surface (likely caused when she broke in two and both sections compressed together causing the coal to shoot out of the funnels - as seen by survivor Frank Osman). There is no mention in the article about the direction the sea currents had pushed the debris as it descended. The fact that there is a trail of coal almost a mile long south of the stern is simply evidence to show that there might have been a current which caused it to move south.


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Aaron_2016

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Reading about sea currents. If there was no current near the surface and the coal had landed in a large pile on the sea bed and was gradually pushed south over the years by the sea bed currents and ended up spreading south by almost a mile, then surely this sea bed current would have affected the other debris, dragging them south and partially burying the debris, yet the pictures of the debris field show that items are resting undisturbed on the seabed. I recall when they tried to raise part of the hull known as the 'big piece' they dropped it and had to recover the piece again. Was there any mention of sea currents? Wish they brought that piece back here to Belfast.


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I've seen the map as described and I concur particularly in regard to the disintegrated 70 feet or so of ship. My only question is where Delgado came up with his numbers for the tons of coal. Titanic's departure papers listed 5,800 tons on board, sufficient for a passage to New York with reserve. The total capacity of all bunkers in the boiler rooms was 6,141 tons with coal taken at 44 cubic feet per ton. The ullage between full capacity and the certified amount carried was 341 tons which is neither of the amounts given by Delgado.

We know the boilers in #1 were never fired. It is reasonable to conclude there was no coal in bunkers A, or B within boiler room #1 simply because those areas were out of direct contact with the fireboxes. It would have been logical to put any ullage there and load coal into bunker C which was best situated for serving the furnaces. In any event, the maximum amount of coal certified aboard ship that could have been stored in #1 was 340 tons which would have been about two-thirds the capacity of the C bunker. That much coal - 340 tons - could make quite a long "smear" along the bottom as it drifted down in sub-surface currents.

It is highly doubtful that any coal would have been shot out of any funnel by the breakup of the ship. While the forces involved were tremendous, there is no evidence the breaking of metal created any sort of large-scale explosive events. What Ossman saw was more likely the result of cold sea water striking hot coals in the fireboxes of the boilers which provided steam for the emergency dynamos. Steam can expand 1,700 times the original volume of water. That sort of rapid expansion does create enough explosive force to shoot hot coals and sparks out of the funnel. (It would not have "exploded" the boilers, however. The steam had direct access to the outside atmosphere. As it escapted the steam would have carried some material along with it up the flue and out the top of the stack.)

When a ship breaks up on the surface, stuff from it does not simply sink straight to the bottom. Rather, it sinks down in a debris circle that expands relative to the depth of water. This is often called the "debris cone." Titanic lies about 12,500 feet down, so the cone is quite large. Some pieces parts always drift outside the main cone, but for the most part things stay in that area. This pattern is seen on maps of the Titanic debris field. Or, once the ship came apart, overlapping debris fields.

Most researchers believe the grouping of single-ended boilers from boiler room #1 represents as close as we can get to the geographic location of the breakup on the surface. They were heavy and lacked much hydrodynamic shape. Those boiler should have plummeted nearly straight down through the two-and-a-half mile column of water. This is why the center of the boiler field is often taken as the location of the wreck on the bottom.

-- David G. Brown
 
Mar 22, 2003
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If the coal we see in the photograph was from Boiler Room 1, why do we not see it issuing from the south end of the bow section where it was originally located? How was it possible for it to issue from the section containing the main engines? Am I missing something here?
Yes, you are missing the point about the coal in the "coal streak" was not bunker coal from the bunkers in the boiler rooms.

From David Concannon:
"You are correct that this coal streak extends SSW for about 2 Km starting from the stern section, with smaller pieces being at the outer edge. Based on my observations, the pieces of coal range in size from the size of brick to the size of a golf ball, with the average size being about the size of your fist. The size distribution is random for quite a long way out from the stern. It looks like kitchen coal, as opposed to bunker coal, and the pieces we examined were coke, which was lighter and used in the ovens."
 
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Most researchers believe the grouping of single-ended boilers from boiler room #1 represents as close as we can get to the geographic location of the breakup on the surface. They were heavy and lacked much hydrodynamic shape. Those boiler should have plummeted nearly straight down through the two-and-a-half mile column of water. This is why the center of the boiler field is often taken as the location of the wreck on the bottom.
Something we can agree to.
 

Jim Currie

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Being a bit presumptuous aren't we? They mapped the debris field and found a trail of coal almost a mile long south of the stern. The article just states that a large mid-section of the ship had disintegrated and most of the contents do not appear to have streamed out of each broken end like comets. I guessed that the debris had spilled out when the ship broke on the surface and the fragments were already on their way to the bottom while both sections were still on the surface before the bow and stern sank, and this delay would surely allow the broken contents to sink independently. I agree with the article because it said most of the contents do not appear to have streamed out of each end like comet trails as they descended to the sea floor, and therefore supports the theory that the coal fell out of the broken ship while she was on the surface (likely caused when she broke in two and both sections compressed together causing the coal to shoot out of the funnels - as seen by survivor Frank Osman). There is no mention in the article about the direction the sea currents had pushed the debris as it descended. The fact that there is a trail of coal almost a mile long south of the stern is simply evidence to show that there might have been a current which caused it to move south.


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I'm not presuming anything, Aaron. I simply bow to the opinions of Marine Archeologists who might just know what they are talking about.

Your suggestion that the coal escaped during the initial break confines it's source to boiler room 1. That nonsense from AB Osman of coal ejecting from the funnel is just that... nonsense! How was that possible? There was no direct route from the top of the bunkers to the funnel uptake area. Escaping coal would have had to pass upward through decks A, B, C, D an E.
In any case, when the ship broke in two parts, the lights were out. How was it possible for someone in a boat [No.2] 3/4 of a mile away on Titanic's starboard quarter to see anything coming from the funnels...smoke etc., in complete darkness when the boiler rooms were completely submerged at that time?

At or near the surface, coal from boiler room 1 would be intially contained behind the bunker bulkheads ans WT bulkhead 'K'. It could not have escaped until 'K' was gone. As the Marine Archeoligists explain, the section from frame 6 to frame minus 30 -WT Bulkhead 'K' was ripped out of the bottom. This means that the contents of the aft bunker in boiler room 2 and the bunker in boiler room 1 were 'set free'. The combined capacity of these two bunkers was about 58,000 cubic feet. or 1642.42 cu. metres. If they were each half full at the time of sinking, this means that they would have contained about 1026.5 metric tonnes or about 1010.2 long tons.
If anything, the latest pictures of the wreck sight suggest that the stern section sank almost vertically. The main debris is located to the east ans slightly north of the stern section while the bow is so remore that it almost looks like a different wreck. I cannot find reference to the plume of coal you talk about.
 

Jim Currie

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Here's a question for the hydrostatic experts among you. It concerns the bow section.

Evidence from survivors indicates that Titanic took a heavy lurch to port as the stern rose out of the water. When the hull failed, the bow tilted down even more and was still inclined to port. Suddenly the two sections parted company. The port side of the bow section was inclined toward the bottom of the sea and becase it was at the greatest depth, was experiencing the most hydrostatic pressure. What happened next? I have conducted a simple experiment using a cruder mock-up of the forward section. The result was surprising.
 
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Aaron_2016

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.....AB Osman of coal ejecting from the funnel is just that... nonsense! How was that possible?......In any case, when the ship broke in two parts, the lights were out. How was it possible for someone in a boat [No.2] 3/4 of a mile away on Titanic's starboard quarter to see anything coming from the funnels...smoke etc., in complete darkness when the boiler rooms were completely submerged at that time?
Simple really. The survivors said the lights were still on after the ship broke in two. Whether it was 5 minutes or just 20 seconds it was long enough for them to see what was happening. We have no idea how clean the break was and if the lower decks were still completely intact. There are numerous survivors who saw the lights after she broke and survivors who saw coal and sparks shooting out of the funnels and large volumes of smoke when she broke in two e.g.

Philip Mock
"After the noise I saw a huge column of black smoke slightly lighter than the sky rising high into the sky and then flattening out at the top like a mushroom."

Barrett
"When the ship was sinking a volume of smoke came up."

Osman - "You could see the explosions by the smoke coming right up the funnels....It was all black; looked like as if it was lumps of coal, and all that....Pretty big lumps.....Just after the explosion. Through the funnels....Steam and very black smoke."

Collyer - "It came with a deafening roar that stunned me. Something in the very bowels of the Titanic exploded and millions of sparks shot up to the sky, like rockets in a park on the night of a summer holiday. This red spurt was fan shaped as it went up, but the sparks descended in every direction in the shape of a fountain of fire. Two other explosions followed, dull and heavy, as if below the surface. The Titanic broke in two before my eyes."


I see no reason to doubt their words. The only thing we can do is try to understand how it happened and put together a scenario.


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Evidence from survivors indicates that Titanic took a heavy lurch to port as the stern rose out of the water.
According to a number of eyewitnesses the stern first settled back after the break. Some even thought it was going to stay afloat. Then it slowly rose high up and sank. The lurch tp port may have been the result of how the double bottom pieces (there were two large sections found on the bottom) had actually separated. There has been much speculation about all of this.
The survivors said the lights were still on after the ship broke in two.
There were many others who said all the lights went out when the ship broke in two.
Symons: "Head down, and that is the time when I saw her lights go out, all her lights. The next thing I saw was her poop. As she went down like that so her poop righted itself and I thought to myself, 'The poop is going to float.'"
Before she actually broke, he saw her foremost lights disappear:
"No, just her foremost lights had disappeared, and her starboard sidelight left burning was the only light, barring the masthead light, on that side of the bridge that I could see."
This was probably due to some circuit breakers cutting out at that time. When the ship actually split apart, all the steam lines would have severed and the dynamos would have come to a stop.

Bringing this thread back on course, on the Californian the following was written by the two key eyewitnesses on 18 April while Californian was still at sea:
Gibson: "Just after two o'clock she was then about two points on the Port bow, she disappeared from sight and nothing was seen of her again. The Second Officer then said, ‘Call the Captain and tell him that the ship has disappeared in the S.W., that we are heading W.S.W. and that altogether she has fired eight rockets.’"
Stone: "At 2.00 a.m. the vessel was steaming away fast and only just her stern light was visible and bearing S.W. ½ W. I sent Gibson down to you and told him to wake you and tell you we had seen altogether eight white rockets and that the steamer had gone out of sight to the S.W."
[The emphases in the above quotations are mine.] The actual time Gibson was sent down to inform Lord that the steamer had gone out of sight was 2:05am by their wheelhouse clock. Unadjusted time on Titanic would have been 2:17am, about the time the ship split apart.
 
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Aaron_2016

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There were many others who said all the lights went out when the ship broke in two.
The majority of survivor accounts who saw the break and described the lights said the lights were on after the ship broke in two and I could only find 2 accounts who saw the lights extinguish at the moment she broke in two. My understanding is the decks were still partially connected and all of the pipes etc needed were still intact in the lower decks. Jack Thayer described the stern being dragged forward over the spot where the bow sank which gives the impression that the bow and stern were still connected by several decks after she broke. Survivors said the stern faced the opposite way after she broke and how her propellers were over the collapsible boat. Lightoller said the ship turned around while he was under the water. I think the majority of survivors were rowing towards the light of a ship off Titanic's bow (Californian?), and if the stern had turned around then the survivors would undoubtedly have only seen her keel which would give the illusion that all of her lights were off, while those with a better perspective described the lights were still on after she broke.

We must remember that the break up likely happened in stages which took 5 - 10 minutes to complete as survivors heard two loud explosive sounds, one when she first broke and the second when she finally detached. e.g.



Mr. Archer
"I heard a couple of explosions....I heard two....about 20 minutes between each explosion. From the time I heard the first one until I heard the second one it would be about 20 minutes"

Mr. Clench
"I heard two explosions.....I should say a matter of 10 minutes before she went under.....The lights went out after the second explosion."

Mr. Brice
Q - How far apart in time, probably, were the two explosions?
A - From 8 to 10 minutes.
Q - The lights were still on in the after end of the ship after the first and second explosions.


If the lights on the stern were still lit after the she turned around, I wonder if the Californian would see her stern light?

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Jim Currie

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Talking about coal,Aaron, There is no way coal could have made it's way up the funnels. Smoke? Where from? The fires had all been raked out and the boiler rooms flooded before she took the final plunge.

Sam,
The list to port, head down attitude at the moment the hull broke apart means that Titanic's port bow and lower port side was subject to pressure of close to 14.5 T/sq.ft. while the part near the surface was subject to about 1 tenth of that. Since the bow was pointed and the hull was moving downward, it would take the line of least resistance to ward the staboard hand. My little tank test seems to bear this out, I'm sure you can do the maths to prove the case.

You write : "The actual time Gibson was sent down to inform Lord that the steamer had gone out of sight was 2:05am by their wheelhouse clock. Unadjusted time on Titanic would have been 2:17am, about the time the ship split apart."
That is absolutely true as long as there was no clock change. However that's another argument.

You either intentionally or just forgot to quote a relevant bit of Gibson's evidence. Here it is in it's entirety. The purple bit is yours:

"When about one point on the Port bow she fired another rocket which like the others burst into white stars.
Just after two o'clock she was then about two points on the Port bow, she disappeared from sight and nothing was seen of her again."

Unless you and everyone else completely disregard the evidence of all the folks in the liferboats and on Titanic then the vessel being discussed in Gibson's evidence could not possibly have been Titanic. Because at that very moment, Californian would have been showing Gibson's vessel two white masthead lights and a red side light. On the other hand; from very early on, almost everyone on Titanic or in her lifeboats saw a single white light.

Lawrence Beesley left Titanic in lifeboat #13 Here's what he saw:

"Almost immediately after leaving the Titanic we saw what we all said was a ship's lights down on the horizon on the Titanic's port side: two lights, one above the other, and plainly not one of our boats; we even rowed in that direction for some time, but the lights drew away and disappeared below the horizon.

Colonel Archibald Gracie stated:

" I pointed toward the bow, and there were distinctly seen these lights - or a light, rather one single light. It did not seem to be a star, and that is what we all thought it was, the light of some steamer..... I should say it could not have been more than 6 miles away....Ahead toward the bow, because I had to lean over, and here was this lifeboat down by the side at that time, and I pointed right ahead and showed Mr. Astor so he could see, and he had to lean away over."

 
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Aaron_2016

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Talking about coal,Aaron, There is no way coal could have made it's way up the funnels. Smoke? Where from? The fires had all been raked out and the boiler rooms flooded before she took the final plunge.
The survivors saw it and I see no reason to dismiss what they saw. We don't know how many boiler rooms were still dry when she broke in two. Joughin heard the ship breaking apart just a few minutes after he left his cabin on E-deck. He noticed the ship was listing to port and the corridor was dry and the port list was much more noticeable than the downward tilt. With the break up happening so soon afterwards I doubt the boilers rooms were flooded. Wasn't there evidence of some of the boilers imploding on the wreck?

Regarding the lights seen from the lifeboats. Would they be able to see the Californian's port light from their low height? The ship was surrounded by field ice which likely was several feet high. Her lights could be seen from the top deck of the Titanic but I imagine the height from a lifeboat down in the water would have brought the horizon closer and the survivors would have to peer over the fields of ice several feet high to see the ship. One can only guess how much ice was obstructing their view. Didn't Captain Rostron say he did not see the Mount Temple across the icefield, yet she could see the Carpathia. The density of the ice and their height might have played a role in hiding the Californian's side lights compared with her masthead lights higher up. When the Northern lights appeared some survivors thought the light was just a reflection of light from an iceberg, so they might have been fully aware that there was ice in that direction.

Stengel - "I thought it was a sort of northern light, reflecting on an iceberg. That was my impression of it."

Peuchen - "I think it was one of those reflected lights. The northern lights were very strong that night. It might have been some reflection on ice. I was not satisfied it was the light of a steamer, by any means.....It was a glare. It was not a distinct light, it was a glare."


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Jim Currie

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The survivors saw it and I see no reason to dismiss what they saw. We don't know how many boiler rooms were still dry when she broke in two. Joughin heard the ship breaking apart just a few minutes after he left his cabin on E-deck. He noticed the ship was listing to port and the corridor was dry and the port list was much more noticeable than the downward tilt. With the break up happening so soon afterwards I doubt the boilers rooms were flooded. Wasn't there evidence of some of the boilers imploding on the wreck?

Regarding the lights seen from the lifeboats. Would they be able to see the Californian's port light from their low height? The ship was surrounded by field ice which likely was several feet high. Her lights could be seen from the top deck of the Titanic but I imagine the height from a lifeboat down in the water would have brought the horizon closer and the survivors would have to peer over the fields of ice several feet high to see the ship. One can only guess how much ice was obstructing their view. Didn't Captain Rostron say he did not see the Mount Temple across the icefield, yet she could see the Carpathia. The density of the ice and their height might have played a role in hiding the Californian's side lights compared with her masthead lights higher up. When the Northern lights appeared some survivors thought the light was just a reflection of light from an iceberg, so they might have been fully aware that there was ice in that direction.

Stengel - "I thought it was a sort of northern light, reflecting on an iceberg. That was my impression of it."

Peuchen - "I think it was one of those reflected lights. The northern lights were very strong that night. It might have been some reflection on ice. I was not satisfied it was the light of a steamer, by any means.....It was a glare. It was not a distinct light, it was a glare."


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Aaron, when the hull failed, it did so forward of the main engine room. All the boiler room coal was contained in the forward section. It is a matter of construction fact, that coal in the bunkers could not have escaped them via the funnel uptakes. Additionally; it is hard enought to see your hand in front of you on a pitch dark night let alone see a lump of black coal against a black sky hundreds of feert in the air and hundres of yards away.
The boilers did not contain coal and would have imploded due to the massive pressure at depth.

A red side light was clearly seen with the naked eye by two separate witnesses... Boxhall and QM Wynn. Unless the ice was over 30 feet high, it would not eclipse Californian's sidelights. These would be visible by someone with perfect telescopic night vision from a lifeboat at a distance of no more than 8 miles. In fact the answers to the riddle of the lights v. Californian is easily solved if historians would consider the problem from both sides. I.e. what was one ship showing the other. Here's a little exercise developed from the available evidence. It depicts what an observer standing on the decks of Titanic and Californian would see when looking through a telescope. The lights ar exagerated a bit for clarity. It also show that without any doubt whatsover, those oin Californian were not looking at
Lights between vessels.png
but in the direction of Titanic and those on Titanic were not looking at the stopped SS Californian.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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People make terrible eyewitnesses, especially when questioned weeks after an event took place. It's hard to know who or what to believe. Take 5/O Lowe for example. This is what he wrote in his deposition given to the British consulate in May concerning the mysterious vessel that he saw that night:

As I was putting over the starboard emergency boat somebody mentioned something about a ship on the port bow. I glanced in that direction and saw a steamer showing her red light about 5 miles to the northward of us.
At this time fourth officer Boxhall was firing off signals of distress, and we also Morsed to the ship by the electric Morse lamps on the bridge.
When I had got these boats tied together I still saw these in the same position, and shortly afterwards she seemed to alter her position and open her green. I knew a few minutes afterwards all the lights went out, and I did not see any more lights until I saw the lights of the Carpathia.

The boats he mentioned were four regular lifeboats and a collapsible:

I took two boats away with me; that is, excluding my own. I was in boat 14. I took them to a distance of about 150 yards from the ship. I then returned and escorted another boat to the other two boats. I then returned again to the ship and escorted a collapsible to these other three boats. I then made all the boats make fast to each other fore and aft, and also made them all set their masts ready for any emergency, such as wind. I then tied my own boat at the head of the string of boats.
The ship by this time was settling down rapidly by the head, and sank in about 20 minutes. The lights were burning up to 5 minutes before the stern disappeared. I did not hear anything that I should call explosions. A kind of distant smothered rumblings. I thought at the time it was produced by the sinking of the ship.

Boxhall said that he saw the mystery vessel's green sidelight before he saw the red:

I saw the masthead lights first, the two steaming lights; and then, as she drew up closer, I saw her side lights through my glasses, and eventually I saw the red light. I had seen the green, but I saw the red most of the time. I saw the red light with my naked eye...I think I saw the green light before I saw the red light, as a matter of fact. But the ship was meeting us. I am covering the whole thing by saying the ship was meeting us.

So did this mystery vessel first show red then green as Lowe described, or was it green then red as Boxhall described?

The other interesting thing is that QM Rowe, who was on the bridge more or less the same time as Boxhall and firing rockets and using the Morse signaling lamp, only described seeing a single white light from the time he got on the bridge. Boxhall, who saw the vessel's two masthead lights through glasses, saw a single white light which he took for a stern light when he was sent away to take charge of boat #2, about 1/2 hour before the ship sank according to his story.
 

Jim Currie

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People make terrible eyewitnesses, especially when questioned weeks after an event took place. It's hard to know who or what to believe. Take 5/O Lowe for example. This is what he wrote in his deposition given to the British consulate in May concerning the mysterious vessel that he saw that night:

As I was putting over the starboard emergency boat somebody mentioned something about a ship on the port bow. I glanced in that direction and saw a steamer showing her red light about 5 miles to the northward of us.
At this time fourth officer Boxhall was firing off signals of distress, and we also Morsed to the ship by the electric Morse lamps on the bridge.
When I had got these boats tied together I still saw these in the same position, and shortly afterwards she seemed to alter her position and open her green. I knew a few minutes afterwards all the lights went out, and I did not see any more lights until I saw the lights of the Carpathia.

The boats he mentioned were four regular lifeboats and a collapsible:

I took two boats away with me; that is, excluding my own. I was in boat 14. I took them to a distance of about 150 yards from the ship. I then returned and escorted another boat to the other two boats. I then returned again to the ship and escorted a collapsible to these other three boats. I then made all the boats make fast to each other fore and aft, and also made them all set their masts ready for any emergency, such as wind. I then tied my own boat at the head of the string of boats.
The ship by this time was settling down rapidly by the head, and sank in about 20 minutes. The lights were burning up to 5 minutes before the stern disappeared. I did not hear anything that I should call explosions. A kind of distant smothered rumblings. I thought at the time it was produced by the sinking of the ship.

Boxhall said that he saw the mystery vessel's green sidelight before he saw the red:

I saw the masthead lights first, the two steaming lights; and then, as she drew up closer, I saw her side lights through my glasses, and eventually I saw the red light. I had seen the green, but I saw the red most of the time. I saw the red light with my naked eye...I think I saw the green light before I saw the red light, as a matter of fact. But the ship was meeting us. I am covering the whole thing by saying the ship was meeting us.

So did this mystery vessel first show red then green as Lowe described, or was it green then red as Boxhall described?

The other interesting thing is that QM Rowe, who was on the bridge more or less the same time as Boxhall and firing rockets and using the Morse signaling lamp, only described seeing a single white light from the time he got on the bridge. Boxhall, who saw the vessel's two masthead lights through glasses, saw a single white light which he took for a stern light when he was sent away to take charge of boat #2, about 1/2 hour before the ship sank according to his story.
To the foregoing, you should add the lights seen by AB William Lucas and QM Walter Wynne. Both these men saw a red light and a single white steaming light whiule Boxhall was very specific that he saw two white steaming lightsthen a single white light.

Quartermaster Wynne" 13342. (The Commissioner.) Then I do not understand it. I thought you first saw a red light, and then it disappeared, and then you saw a white light? A: - I saw the red and white, and then the red and white disappeared, and then I saw the white light remain.
13343. You saw both the red and the white light at the same time? A: - Yes.

AB Lucas: "1580. Did you see any other light beside the red light? A: - Yes, the steaming light.

These guys were seeing a vessel other than the one seen by Boxhall which had two white steaming lights. Like Boxhall, the one they saw was not Californian. Californian was showing two white steaming lights and unlike Boxhall's vessel, was stopped.